KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety is stepping up recruitment efforts as it prepares to open up the hiring process next month.
KDPS currently has 241 sworn-in officers but has budgeted for 253, meaning the department is down 12 officers. The department also has to account for the approximately 10 officers that retire every year.
Kalamazoo Lt. Matt Elzinga said the hiring process takes about five months to get from filling out an application to receive an offer. Recruits who aren’t certified in public safety roles will be sent to training academies.
Elzinga says the department isn’t specifically looking for candidates with certifications or prior experience, but a passion for public service.
“When somebody calls 911, they’re not having a good day, and sometimes we are their last defense,” he said. “That’s why it takes somebody who is a well-rounded person. Somebody who has maybe not sympathy, but a better word would be empathy, and we want to service each person here in the city of Kalamazoo, we want to treat them fairly.
“Everybody is going to get the same quality level of service from the men and women who work here at public safety.”
KDPS’ hiring process will run from Oct. 30 to Nov. 15. More information will be available on the department’s website once the process starts.